Monthly Archives: March 2014

Spring fever!

Spring is definitely in the air! Our last hard frost is usually the second week of March with the possibility of light frost until mid-April. As plants have begun to grow the damage from the attic blast we received a month ago is become apparent.

The Asian magnolias buds are opening and the ends of the petals are frost-burnt.


The forsythia seemed to have no damage. Although, I seem to not be able to focus! 🙂


A hellebore I purchased a few years ago blooms with a wonderful dark flower. I guess this is why it is named Dark Lady?


Even the Japanese Pachysandra has blooms!


There are a few of my oldest plants which are in need of a good trim! This Japanese Holly Fern is about 8 years old and the Arctic blast has damaged a few fronds but there are also many old and dead fronds around the base. I think I will remove them all to allow the new fiddler heads room and refresh the clump which is about four feet wide now.


The German Iris are unharmed and growing rapidly. When I purchased the house there was two large pines right next to the house here. They were removed and the roots were ground and mixed in the soil. The irises grew rapidly and were beautiful – until an attack of iris borers a few seasons ago! They are slowly recovering.  Yes, I know. The rain barrels are not the most beautiful thing to have next to the front porch but they are a life saver during the Summer.


This weekend should very warm and sunny so after  we attended the Raleigh’s Saint Patrick Day’s Parade ( and events, which include sampling every food truck there,  I plant to spend the entire weekend in the garden!



Filed under General Gardening

A garden is much like cooking breakfast.

A garden comes together much like breakfast.

You choose the main elements.


Then you add some spice or something exotic and unusual.


Mix it all together.


Let it simmer and mature.


Then you let its unique character shine through!


Of course, there always a few surprises!

A 60 lb Pitt bull – black Labrador running towards you as you are attempting to photograph daffodils!


A few nice surprises when you purchase a bag of mixed bulbs.


An overgrown camellia you find behind the old barn.


Now after 10 years a few plants have matured and I need to evaluate their position in the garden or move their neighbor.

It’s amazing have fast time has flown by!


Filed under General Gardening, Gus

Sounds of the jungle!

The English Ivy which covers my neighbors back yard trees bloomed earlier in the summer and now the berries are ripe.

Hundreds of birds are flocking to the feast! They will be feasting from dusk to dawn for a few days until the berries are gone. Unfortunately, the seeds pass through their digestive and germinate all over the garden. It’s a constant battle to pull the seedlings to prevent a complete take over.

The patio and sidewalks will be stained purple, too, from the birds berry-stained droppings. It’s an interesting bird watching time but I think I would rather have no English Ivy in the neighborhood!


Filed under General Gardening